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Cranberry Avocado Salad with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette

from Cafe Sucre Farine


for dressing:

  • cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • cup extra virgin olive oil

For Salad:

  • 12-16 ounces baby spinach arugula, field greens
  • 1 small bunch cilantro washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
  • 2 medium avocados peeled and halved
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup Candied Spiced Almond

Spiced Almonds

  • 5 cups sliced almonds or a 1 pound package
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika* – some smoked paprikas are quite hot if you don’t like “hot”, just use 1 teaspoon and they will be mildly spiced.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • sea salt


For the Dressing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about ¼ cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the almonds:

  1. Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with a paper towel.
  2. Place sugar in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium heat , occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.
  3. Lower heat immediately and add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika and vanilla. Stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated into the sugar syrup.
  4. Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Don’t worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar – they will melt as you continue to sauté the almonds. Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a delicious golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out on foil to cool.